I developed a whole new appreciation for salad during my trip to Israel, thanks to the Israeli habit of serving salads with every meal of the day.
For two weeks, there was salad with breakfast, salad with lunch, and salad with dinner.
I’m obviously pretty familiar with the concept of salad for lunch or dinner, but it did take me a little while to adapt to the idea of a big plate of salad for breakfast.
Then again, I’m pretty sure the Israelis are just as puzzled by the North American habit of eating big chunks of fatty, salty meat with our breakfast, so I guess we’re even.
Since I just picked the first of this year’s carrots from our little backyard patch, this simple salad with a Moroccan-inspired blend of flavours seemed like a perfect way to keep my newfound salad obsession going.
A quick blanching brings out the natural sweetness of the carrots, which is then accented with a spicy lemony dressing full of cumin and paprika, while fine shreds of fresh mint to cool the tongue and briny chunks of soft, creamy feta provide a hint of saltiness.
Just to shake things up, I used a few different kinds of rainbow-coloured heirloom carrots for this dish, including some amazing dark purple ones and pale yellow ones I found at the farmers’ market down the street.
It makes for a really pretty presentation, though the flavour is just as good with classic orange if that’s all you’ve got on hand.
I’m not sure if I’d be willing to trade it in for a my favourite breakfast of sunny-side-up eggs with peameal bacon and rye toast just yet, but it’s definitely a nice alternative when I’m in the mood for something different (and perhaps a little less fattening).
Show off the sweetness of fresh summer carrots in this Moroccan-inspired salad, featuring tender carrot slices tossed with a spiced lemon vinaigrette, shredded fresh mint and crumbled feta. For an extra-pretty presention, try it with multi-coloured heirloom carrots!
- 1 lb carrots, peeled and sliced
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp caraway seeds
- 1 tsp ground paprika (preferably hot)
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp honey
- Salt and pepper
- Handful mint leaves, chopped
- Handful crumbled feta
- Blanch the carrots for 2 minutes in a large pot of boiling water, then plunge into an ice-water bath to stop the cooking process. Once the carrots are completely cooled, drain and transfer to a pretty salad bowl.
- Using a dry skillet, toast the cumin and caraway over high heat for about 1-2 minutes or until fragrant. Grind into a fine powder using a mortar and pestle or a spice grinder.
- Combine the cumin and caraway mixture with the paprika and cinnamon in a small bowl. Add garlic, lemon juice, olive oil and honey. Whisk until blended, then pour over the carrots and toss to coat. Set aside to let the flavours meld, about 20-30 minutes.
- When ready to serve, sprinkle salad with handfuls of chopped mint and crumbled feta.
- Category: Salads
- Method: Blanched
- Cuisine: Moroccan